A pile of dirty dishes in the dishwasher

Ask Rene:
I Need Some Help With This Housework!


Hi Rene:

I’m engaged to a guy from Northern Ireland who was also in the Royal Air Force for 7 years. He’s told me that he & his brother were never allowed in the kitchen and I don’t think he did any housework or helped around the house.

I would like to get him to do more to help me around the house, but if I don’t ask him he won’t do it. And when I do ask him, he’ll take days before he does what I asked or he’ll half do the task and mumble or get upset.

When asked to do dishes, he doesn’t wash them properly and there is always hardened food or old grease on the bottom cause he only washes inside the dish. How do I get him to help out more by doing things the proper way, without being a nag and constantly having to ask him to help out?





Dear Houseproud,

Like any good partnership, a marriage must be built on open and (mostly) honest communication. I think you’re smart to recognize that this will become a problem if not addressed – the question becomes how to best and most effectively tackle this issue. So from a woman who’s been married for 17 years, here are a few ideas.

1. Explain What It Is You Want Done

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Time for a (soon-to-be) family powwow. If you both have jobs outside the home, it’s hardly fair that when you leave your first one, that you should have to come home and start the second. So you’re going to have to go over what needs to be done. I know this sounds juvenile but you might even put together a chore chart because if he’s never helped out around the house, he truly may not know (more on that below). Take this opportunity to tell him WHY this is so important to you and the overall health of your relationship. You work too. You are tired when you get home, just like he is. A little bit of upkeep goes a long way and everyone is happier when the living environment is calm, clean and uncluttered. I would also suggest, if you can afford it, hiring someone to come in say once a month to do the deep cleaning, especially if you work outside the home.